Bunbury volleyballer Tom Heptinstall, 19, was key to Australia’s campaign in the 2018 Asian Men’s Under 20 Volleyball Championships.
Held between July 19 to 29 in Bahrain, the event marked an opportunity to showcase Australia’s potential on the world stage.
This year’s championships featured 23 sides from Asia and Oceania.
The Australian team was intimidated by the crowd during their showdown against the host nation.
After losing the first two sets, and needing a comeback to remain in finals contention, Australia then pulled itself up.
The visitors survived six match points to Bahrain in the third, before regaining composure and going into attack mode.
The Australians clinched three consecutive sets, taking out the win – 16 – 25/17 – 25/34 – 32/25 – 22/15 – 11 – and qualifying for the quarter finals in the process.
Responsible for 10 points during the game, Heptinstall ably stepped up to the challenge.
Australia later went on to claim a straight-sets win over Korea, 25 –19/25 – 19/25 – 18.
Following their straight-sets loss to China, Australia recovered to score a resounding win over Kazakhstan (25 – 22/25 – 18/25 – 23).
Heptinstall made his Australian debut in last year’s U19 Asian Indoor Championships.
The 19-year-old is currently in his third year of training as part of the Australian Institute of Sports’ Centre of Excellence.
The volleyballer recently signed his first international contract, set to play for Denmark’s Nordenskov Volleyball during the 2018/19 European season.